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New coach Quique Sánchez Flores acknowledged that he may have arrived too late to save Club Atlético de Madrid's UEFA Champions League campaign, but still promised to go for broke against Group D leaders Chelsea FC on Tuesday. Opposite number Carlo Ancelotti can take confidence from a 4-0 victory in the corresponding fixture a fortnight ago, and the fact he can call on Didier Drogba after suspension for the first time in the competition this season.
Quique Sánchez Flores, Atlético coach
Our objective is to stay alive in the three competitions we're in, but realistically to play in the Europa League wouldn't be bad as our goal is to continue in Europe. I haven't had a lot of time to train the team so I've been working hard on the psychological aspect. Now we have two big matches against Chelsea and Real Madrid which will serve as extra motivation for the players and supporters. I'm not thinking about keeping players back for the Madrid game, and will put out my strongest team against Chelsea. Chelsea are a strong team with a lot of quality so we'll have to be at 100 per cent to beat them, but the atmosphere inside the Calderón will be intense for them. We have a lot more to gain from this game than lose and have to be positive and optimistic.
Carlo Ancelotti, Chelsea coach
I haven't spoken to Drogba about last season. I only spoke to him about being out for the last three games – I said to him to prepare for when he returns, ready to work for the team. [In the last four games, which Chelsea have all won, scoring 17 goals without conceding] we've played good football. At this moment the team has a good idea of how to go on the pitch and play good football for 90 minutes. I'm happy because in my three months we have improved. We have respect for Atlético because they have very good players. Agüero is one of the most important in the world. He is very young, a fantastic striker, with a lot of quality. Now is not a good moment for them, but they have the quality to get out of this period. Flores is a good coach. He had a good experience at Valencia and I think he can do a good job at Atlético Madrid.
31/10/09 Athletic Club Bilbao 1-0 Atlético
(Javi Martínez 19)
• Los Colchoneros have earned seven points from their first nine games – three fewer than that accrued by the side relegated in 1999/00.
• The loss to Athletic was Quique Flores's first Liga match in charge. He had guided Atlético to a 2-0 victory at UD Marbella in the first leg of their Copa del Rey fourth round tie on 27 October, his first match after replacing Abel Resino, who departed on 23 October.
31/10/09 Bolton Wanderers FC 0-4 Chelsea
(Lampard 45+2pen, Deco 61, Knight 82og, Drogba 90+1)
• Chelsea have won 14 of their 16 matches this season.
• Since losing 2-1 at Aston Villa FC on 17 October, Chelsea have struck 17 times and not conceded a goal en route to four successive wins.
Out: Mariano Pernía (broken collarbone), Ignacio Camacho, Juan Valera (left adductor), Roberto (thigh)
Misses next match if booked: Paulo Assunção
Out: John Mikel Obi (ankle), José Bosingwa (knee), Yuri Zhirkov (ankle), Henrique Hilário (concussion)
Misses next match if booked: none
• Matchday 3 suggested Chelsea should have little to fear in Madrid, Salomon Kalou scoring either side of half-time with Frank Lampard and a Luis Perea own goal completing a 4-0 win.
• Atlético have collected one point from three group matches, while Chelsea have won every game to establish a three-point lead at the top of the standings.
• The Blues are unbeaten in their last five games in Spain while Atlético have never lost a competitive home game against English opponents.
Did you know?
The goalless draw against APOEL on Matchday 1 extended Atlético's unbeaten run at home in the UEFA Champions League. Last season, their first in the competition for 12 years, they won two and drew one of their group games and finished all-square with FC Porto in Madrid in the first knockout round, bowing out on away goals.
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